Monday, September 3, 2012

Stage Notes, Set Notes, and Once Upon A Mattress Exercise

Introduction to Set Design

Please define: Proscenium stage, thrust stage, black box theatre, Found space, Arena stage.

Proscenium Stage = Proscenium is usually known as a “picture frame”, which is placed around the front of the performing area of an end stage. The stage has wings they are spaces on both sides which extends all the way off-stage. Scenery surrounds all the performing area. Expect side towards the audience where they watch the play trough frame opening. Backstage is a name for any space around the acting area where the audience can’t see.


Thrust Stage = A stage which is surrounded by an audience only in three of their four sides. The fourth side is used as the background. This stage is also known as a platform stage or an open stage.

Black Box Theatre = Also known as an experimental theatre, consists of a simple unadorned stage where the performance takes place. It’s usually a large square room with black walls and a flat floor.The seats can be moved, so that’s why colleges and schools have them.


Found Space = A stage which is improvised wherever there’s a suitable space for the performance to take place. The can be a performance in a nontraditional space like a basement of a building, a side of a hill, or in the street. The stage can be created in a few minutes by putting a carpet and some seats around the space where the performance is going to take place.

 Arena Stage = A central stage which is surrounded by audience on all its sides. The stage area is usually raised a little bit so people have a better view of the performance.

                                                        Set Notes

One set = its one location and it never changes.

Box set = Trying to recreate a room, you have 2 or 3 rooms. 

Multi Set = Images come from the same place. The scene is on wheels, you can change the scenes by rolling them out.


 Unit Set = One set, there are small things you can add or change so it changes the location. You can show location by not having to take the whole set out.




·         They are in a great hall with a high platform, with two royal chairs and stairs leading to the main stage.


·         There is another additional platform where the princess and the wizard stand.


·         In the hall, bellow, knights and ladies are watching, they are audience of the presentation.



·         Throne chairs


·         There could be columns for decoration and also paintings in the hall.


·         For the two staircases, there is a royal red carpet.


·         Castle windows with a view behind it.


·         There could be a marble floor.


·         There are noble chairs for knights and ladies.


·         At the entrance there could be a small gate.


·         Large lamps at the ceiling.



It is a large unit set that features many qualities that are characteristic of a royal castle. It has two raised stone platforms that are above the main hall. One has two thrones, facing towards the audience. It is accessed by the side where nearby there are other staircases in the opposite side, which lead to a parallel platform which has two chairs, facing each other and a table. Below the two platforms there is an open space filled up with chairs for a public. The royal platform is led by a royal red carpet.

The open space leads to a hallway going past the secondary platform. At the end (which would be at the left side, for the audience) there is a small gate with two guards. In this leading hallway, there are columns and the main wall features decoration like paintings. Atop the place, the ceiling sustains large illuminating fire lamps.  

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